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Fresh From Athol Orchards

As promised, I am committed to writing more this year. Our blog link is an excellent tool for me to share the goings-on here at Athol Orchards, pictures, and we even plan to start producing some fun HD videos that we will begin sharing on our new Youtube channel. There is nothing to see there as of yet but stay tuned. I hope that you will all begin following the blog which in many ways will allow me more time to spend here on our farm doing the important things.

Today, Erreck myself and the girls are taking our very official and final quote to Panhandle Area Council in hopes of officially obtaining the funding we need to do something grand here on the farm. It feels like I've been talking about this forever but with such small steps forward. Being a young business is never easy. Being an ag. business as well as a manufacturer is even more challenging as it becomes a hybrid business. It has made seeking funding for our large projects pretty difficult as the banks weren't sure how to handle us. Since the day the Apple Cider Syrup began to take off, we knew that we had something special. Something that could sustain our farm in the off season,

( in every season in fact) and something that would eventually require a large space, adequate for future demand. In a year's time, we have self-distributed into at least 20 different local specialty shops and grocery stores. With the help of our business coach at our local SBDC, we have gained the confidence to see this "phenomenon" of ours to the next level. Most successful young businesses experience that point to which a step needs to be taken for growth. Our step came very quickly and it is a BIG step. Hopefully today we get some concrete answers. If it becomes a reality, we will have a beautiful and very functional licensed kitchen that will serve as the manufacturing facility of all of our current and future "Farm-Crafted" products, pies, baked goods, and value-added products. Did I mention we have bees? We have LOTS of bees for our little farm and with bees come honey, beeswax, and the amazing products that can be made of beeswax.

Another new development on our farm is the establishment of our Nigerian Dwarf goat herd. We recently became members and registered our goats with the American Dairy Goat Association. Laurie Hunt of Grace Ridge Nigerian Dwarfs in North Idaho brought her amazing Sire, Bray to mingle with our four does for a few weeks. If all goes well we will have kids mid-summer. We plan on keeping one or two doelings but also plan on selling the kids to local 4-Hers who want to get into the goat projects. Our girls have so much fun with them and the responsibility they develop is amazing to see. If you have young children and you'd love to see them get involved in 4H, Pet Goat is a super fun project and teaches the kids responsibility for their animals, showmanship, public speaking, and so much more. Stay tuned with us if you are interested in purchasing an Athol Orchards "kid".

My screen time is over for the morning so I wish you all a fabulous Friday, and we will keep you updated on today's developments!

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